Design, Development and Analysis of the EVDuino Robotics Prototyping Platform.
Confucius to Maria Montessori, John Dewey to Jean Piaget, experiential learning has a
long and storied history. The educational theory of constructionism asserts that
activities in which participants produce a public, physical artifact provide a rich
context for learning. In other words, that designing, making, building, or programming
facilitate deep learning experiences. Sinc... read moree the invention of the first educational
robotics toolset around 1980, there has been an explosion of robotics technologies in
educational settings-with over 400,000 K-12 students nationwide engaged in some sort of
robotics activity through school. Each technology provides different learning
affordances and piques the interest of different students. However, it is difficult to
implement multiple technologies in the classroom context. Teachers and students are
often restricted to platforms with the most support and resources, despite inherent
limitations on what students can create. This thesis details the design process of an
educational robotics platform, the EVDuino, which integrates the open-source electronics
hardware Arduino with the popular LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 robotics system. The EVDuino is
meant to encourage students and teachers who are familiar with LEGO robotics to dive
deeper into engineering and electronics by removing some of the existing barriers of
entry into the world of Arduino. This thesis discusses design, production and testing of
the EVDuino system. Additionally, this thesis provides two classroom case studies in
efforts to evaluate the educational potential of the EVDuino, including fostering
engineering collaboration and differentiated instruction. Future work is outlined,
including new pedagogical questions, larger scale production and an online learning
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2015.
Submitted to the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering.
Advisor: Chris Rogers.
Committee: Ben Shapiro, and Nitin Patil.
Keywords: Mechanical engineering, Education, and Robotics.read less